Choose the Companionship of Positive People Who Inspire You

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Take an objective look at the people in your life. Identify the ten people with whom you spend the most time.

Do these people inspire you? Do they have qualities that you are drawn to and that you would like to emulate?

How does their energy feel to you? After spending time with them, do you feel recharged and positive, about the same, or drained and negative?

These are important questions, and if you’ve never paused to deliberately think about how the people in your life are affecting the quality of your life, right now is a good time to do it. Here’s an easy 5-step exercise to help put it in perspective:

1) Make a list of the ten people with whom you spend the most time.

2) Look at the first name on your list, establish their presence clearly in your imagination and pay close attention to how you feel. After spending time with this person, do you usually feel energized, drained or about the same?

3) Place a mark by the person’s name.
“+” if they energize you.
“-” if they drain you.
“0″ if there is no change.
Don’t over-think this step. There may be a few surprises here for you. Just go with your first impression feelings. You can trust them. They don’t lie.

4) Continue through your list, rating the people in your life energetically, based on the feedback you are getting from your emotional guidance system — your feelings.

5) Act on what you have learned. Spend more time with the “+” people and less time with the “-” people.

You probably already know which people are energy drainers and which ones give you a boost. But, this exercise brings it clearly to your conscious mind. Once you see your list in front of you, it’s a good first step toward inspiring yourself to make a positive change in the quality of your life. Now you know what you need to do, by choosing deliberately with whom you spend your valuable time.

If the people you spend the most time with are inspiring, supportive, encouraging, and they demonstrate qualities you want to emulate — great – you are on the right track. If not, it’s up to you to do something about it.

A Deliberate Shift

When I was 19, I learned this lesson and did something about it for the first time. I started college at 17, and after two and a half years, I noticed that the people with whom I was spending the most time were not inspiring me — too many of them were energy drains. More importantly, I didn’t like the direction they were heading and I didn’t particularly like who I was becoming while in their presence. So, I changed my environment, rather drastically.

I flew from Texas to Alaska and called it home for the next 15 years. In Alaska, I met and became friends with people who inspired me. Alaska attracts and grows rugged individualists . . . I-think-I-canners, people who are ready, willing and able to depend upon themselves and take responsibility for their own lives. I thrived in this new environment and surrounded myself with people who shared the qualities that inspired me and energized me.

Parents Know Intuitively Who the Good Guys Are

I learned a valuable lesson early in life that has served me well ever since: Life is too short to share your valuable time with people who drain your energy. There are billions of people on the planet. If your current companions are not adding to your personal development, attract someone else. There are plenty to choose from.

Parents are aware of this basic principle of human nature. We become like the people we hang out with. That’s why conscious parents have an opinion about the friends of their children. They know how important this inner circle of friends is in the overall development of their children. The influence of the people with whom the most time is spent can be more powerful than school, church or even the guidance of sincere, caring parents.

The same principle is still alive and well as we grow into adulthood. That’s why it’s so profoundly important to pick and choose wisely, especially once you are interested in on-going personal development. All of us need a strong support team who understands and cares about our commitment to personal growth.

“Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive, nourishing and uplifting people — people who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams, and applaud your victories. Surround yourself with possibility thinkers, idealists and visionaries.” — Jack Canfield, The Success Principles(TM): How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.

Jack Canfield has a good name for people who drain you by sucking the life energy right out of you: psychic vampires. Why would you allow them into your life experience? It isn’t worth it. It’s not necessary to try to change them, or “fix” them or “save” them. They are learning their own life lessons by experiencing their freedom of choice. But, it’s not necessary for them to do that in your presence. If their energy feels toxic to you, simply remove yourself from their vicinity.

There may come a time when our commitment to personal development brings us to the point where we can be near anyone with any kind of energy without it affecting us at all. Spiritual masters, gurus and saints are reported to have this ability. Instead of being affected negatively, their vibration uplifts and purifies the negative dross of anyone in their vicinity. We can all do this in varying degrees, but until we master our energetic capacities, it is simply more efficient to pick and choose our friends and companionship deliberately to keep our attitude positive and joyful.

How to Be a “+” Companion

Turn the exercise around and imagine the ten people again. On their lists, would you be a “+” or “-” or a “0″?

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Of course, we’d like to be a “+” on everyone’s list. Here are some things to keep in mind that may help.

Be receptive to hearing about their hopes and dreams. Ask questions. Show your enthusiasm to help celebrate their successes and your compassion to help them through the tough times. During the tough times, it’s not necessary to try to “fix” anything. Just be there. They may need someone to talk to. Be that person. Listen well. Care.

“This communicating of a man’s self to his friend works two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in half.” – Aristotle (384-322 BC)

With close friends, you know their strengths and maybe even their current understanding of their life’s purpose. Encourage everything in their lives that supports their idea of “purpose” and gently remind them when their current course is taking them away from their optimum direction. Of course, their idea of purpose and optimum direction can change over time, so you can also be present whenever they need a sounding board in order to adjust their course.

“A true friend is somebody who can make us do what we can.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82)

“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” – Henry Ford (1863-1947)

Being in your friend’s corner can make all the difference in the world whenever events shake their self-confidence. Show you believe in them, and help them to recapture and strengthen their self-confidence.

“Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.” — Vince Lombardi

“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countance of his friend.” – Proverbs 27:17 Bible (15th-16th century – first known English translation from the Latin)

Mutually supporting friendships often have two members in the same mutual admiration society. Both people know when it’s time to teach and when it’s time to learn, when it’s time to be inspired and when it’s time to inspire, when it’s time to give in and when it’s time to stand firm. Both people admire and appreciate the individualism they see in themselves as well as in their friend. Variety in styles and differences of opinion are good — in fact, if you were both exactly the same, one of you would be extraneous.

“I do not want a friend
Who smiles when I smile
Who weeps when I weep
For my shadow in the pool
Can do better than that.” – Confucius (c. 551-479? BC)

“Better to be a nettle in the side of your friend than his echo.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82)

“Nothing upsets me more, rubs the wrong way, and makes me so sore.
Than when I upset you, ah don’t ya know, that’s the last thing I’d want.
Yeah, the last think I’d want to do is to give you the blues.

So if I work and play just a little bit different than you,
It’s not a way to say, you shouldn’d do those little things you do.
No, I would like to learn from you, while we do what we must do.”
- from the song, “Hell or a Whole Lotta Fun” by Tupelo Kenyon (1977)

Some relationships are hard — you have to work at them to make them continue. Still, they can be rewarding. Others are easy — they flow like water downstream, with no effort required. These are like gold — rare and precious. Honor them. Celebrate them. Enjoy them for they don’t come around every day.

“Give me a low maintenance relationship,
One that carries on from right where you left it.
Don’t fuss about it, no need to nurture,
It‘s a low maintenance relationship.”
- from the song, “Low Maintenance Relationship” by Tupelo Kenyon

Be Your Own Best Friend

That’s a good place to start. When you enjoy your own company and find it easy to keep yourself positive and joyful when left to your own devices in solitude, that’s the perfect place from which to attract companions of like mind and heart. The Law of Attraction works by bringing more of whatever is your predominate thought. That’s why it all has to start with you.

“I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” – Henry David Thoreau (1817-62)

“When we cannot bear to be alone, it means we do not properly value the only companion we will have from birth to death — ourselves.” – Eda LeShan

What do you want? Who do you want to become? Focus on those things and feel good about them with grateful anticipation. Allow the universe to go to work on your behalf to attract to you the very best people, circumstances and experiences in harmony with your desires.

Inspire yourself first, and then other inspired people will be attracted to you. If you are currently in a situation that feels like an inspirational wasteland, like I was at 19 years old, and inspired people seem hard to find, it may be a good time to surround yourself with positive ideas. This allows your attraction point to re-set.

A good place to start is right here on this website. There are many articles here waiting for you to discover — all free and right at your fingertips. Scan the titles for the subjects that appeal to you most. The music is positively oriented too, so you may find that the instrumental music as well as the songs recommended in each article will give you a lift. I hope so — that has always been my intention for creating them.

Build your own positive energy through the wealth of books, audio recordings and videos that are available in the personal development field. Until you are able to spend time with other successful, heart-centered inspiring people also committed to expanding consciousness and personal growth, you’re better off hanging out with the ideas of such people through their words.

“A book is a friend; a good book is a good friend. It will talk to you when you want it to talk, and it will keep still when you want it to keep still; and there are not many friends who know enough to do that.” – B. A. Billingsly

I have put together a list of some of the most inspiring and helpful books, tapes and videos I have come across so far. There are some excellent sources out there, as well as plenty of schlock. Just as in people, it’s important to choose carefully which ideas to spend the most time with.

What you think about most, you become. And, what you feel most strongly, you attract. So, let your own internal guidance system be your guide. This list of resources may be the perfect next step for you. Read the quick reviews I wrote for each book, and pay attention to which ones “light up” for you. That’s a vote of confidence from your inner guidance that there’s likely something valuable for you in that book, at this particular time.

“You know when you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.” – Paul Sweeney

Your Number One Companion

When two people come together after becoming their own best friend, a rare and special relationship can grow in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Neither person expects to change the other, and both respect and honor the freedom of the other.

I have been fortunate to have such a relationship for most of my adult life. In fact, Janey and I recently celebrated our twenty-fifth anniversary. We got together at the ripe old age of 26, lived together for four years and got married at 30. By then, we had already begun to fine-tune our point-of-attraction and had at least a general idea of what we wanted.

Neither of us was looking for someone to make us happy. We were already happy from within, and we were receptive to someone to share it with.

“Even in the common affairs of life, in love, friendship, and marriage, how little security we have when we trust our happiness in the hands of others.” – William Hazlitt (1778-1830)

The universe responded to our point of attraction, and we recognized the opportunity when it was presented. And, we have never looked back.

“Do you wanna be free with me,
Cause that’s the only way I can see,
Being together . . . forever . . . free.

I wish I would’ve told you that I don’t wanna hold you,
But here in my heart and in my arms,
No, I’ll never hold you down,
I’ll hold you tenderly, while we’re flying free.

And together, we can fly so high, where only two can share
Cause no one flying solo can make it way up there
But you and me, we’re flying free, in blue beyond the skies
To share what’s there with starry eyes . . . where only freedom flies.”

- from the song, “Where Only Freedom Flies” by Tupelo Kenyon
- (written in 1976 — Hatcher Pass, Alaska)

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.” — Unknown

What to Do When You Can’t Escape the Negativity

All of us have people in our lives who we don’t remember choosing deliberately — they just seem to come with the territory. Examples include some of the people at work and certain family members. It’s not always possible to just walk away from their oppressive attitudes and emotional storm clouds. So, now what?

Awareness is the key. Notice whenever an interaction with such a person is affecting you in a negative way. Watch your feelings. Pay attention to what’s going on inside you.

At the first clue of your energy level dipping, retreat to the objective viewpoint deep inside and just watch. Observe the dynamics of the interaction and learn. Instead of reacting to them in a knee-jerk manner, do your best to respond deliberately.

Keep your energy intact and don’t allow yourself to sink to their level by your lack of awareness. If you are “on auto-pilot,” you could be reacting to their vibrational output without awareness. That compounds the problem and feeds it more negative emotional energy until it spirals out of control. Instead, remain present (physically and spiritually) for as long as is necessary to fulfill your occupational or social obligation and then leave. Just remove yourself from their proximity as soon as possible.

If you can do it in a gracious manner, so much the better. If not, leave anyway. If your energy level, mood and attitude is becoming compromised by spending too much time with someone on your “-” list, it doesn’t do either of you any good to prolong the interaction. Excuse yourself and go recharge your batteries.

Retreat to your support group, or meditate, or surround yourself with inspiring ideas from one of your current favorite books, websites, audio recordings or videos. Do whatever it takes for you to feel good again, as soon as possible.

If you find it difficult to go from frustration to joy in one fell swoop, move yourself a little at a time. Do something to make yourself feel a little better — then something else to feel a little better still — and then something else. Take a walk. Or, watch a good movie — a comedy or something inspirational. Take a hot bath, or pet your cat.

“The cat could very well be man’s best friend but would never stoop to admitting it.” – Doug Larson

Feeling good right now is one of life’s most important lessons and makes everything else possible. Your point of attraction is everything and you have control over that.

Life is too short to put up with other people’s pity parties, bitch-and-moan marathons, and oh-woe-is-me clubs. We are all in charge of our own energy — it’s part of the deal in this arena of freedom-of-choice.

How we feel is our point of attraction. Since like attracts like, the Law of Attraction sends us more of whatever is the subject of our predominate thoughts and feelings. Remember, you are in control of these things and can choose to feel good now, on purpose.

So, think deliberately, in the direction of what you want — and feel good! When you feel good, you are attracting more circumstances and experiences into your life that will also feel good. That’s why it’s so beneficial to notice and then take control of how you feel. That includes surrounding yourself with thoughts, emotions AND PEOPLE who make you feel good.

“May you have joy, a peaceful mind and a hopeful heart.”
- from the song, “May You Have Joy” by Tupelo Kenyon

While reading, did you choose to hear the relaxing instrumental music linked at the beginning of this article? To learn more about it, click here.

Listen FREE to the songs below . . . chosen to enhance the ideas in this article.

Related Songs
May You Have Joy
Have you ever felt a warm appreciation for someone in your life, and just wanted to wish them well?

Hell or a Whole Lotta Fun
Nothing to do? How about too much to do? Our attitude seems to make the difference.

Low Maintenance Relationship
Life seems to be all about relationships . . . to our friends, families, lovers, and to our creator. There’s always room for improvement.

Don’t Tell Me No
Just don’t do it. It’s better that way . . . for both of us!

Where Only Freedom Flies
To be together and feel free at the same time is the essence of a relationship of mutual personal growth.

Songs by Tupelo

Related Links

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This is the end of the article entitled Choose the Companionship of Positive People Who Inspire You published by Tupelo Kenyon on September 28, 2007 at 5:00 am | In Awareness, Communication, Inner Guidance, Law of Attraction, Relationships - Copyright 2007 - All rights reserved worldwide.

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